Kashmir (J&K), July 8: The Indian Army on Saturday defended the Kulgam firing saying that it resorted to firing on the stone-pelters in Kulgam after militants among them opened fire at a patrol party causing injuries to some soldiers. The army, in a statement, said that it had cautioned the stone-pelters against throwing petrol bombs at the Area Domination Patrol unit in the district’s Hawoora area.Also Read - Indian Military Academy Recruitment 2021: Apply Now For 188 Posts; Check Eligibility Criteria, Other Details

Defence Ministry spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a statement that an area domination patrol came under heavy stone-pelting in Hawoora village of Kulgam. “As the patrol party tried to extricate, they were chased by an aggressive and menacing crowd of 400-500 persons which kept building up and coming dangerously close,” the statement read. Also Read - Indian Army Hoists 76 Feet Tall Tricolour At 15,000 Feet in Ladakh | Watch

“Troops while exercising extreme restraint, cautioned the stone-pelters. However, (they) failed to relent and repeatedly threw petrol bombs and stones at the patrolling party. At one point of time, some unidentified terrorists also fired on the column. This resulted in some soldiers receiving grevious injuries,” the statement further said. Also Read - One Terrorist Killed During Encounter in J&K’s Kulgam, School Children Among 60 Rescued From Site

A defence spokesperson said that in response to the provocation by the stone-pelters and the militants, who were hiding among them, “and to ensure security of own troops, controlled firing was resorted to by the army which resulted in unfortunate loss of human lives. The matter is being investigated to ascertain facts on ground.”

On Saturday, three civilians, including a teenage girl, were killed when security forces allegedly opened fire at a stone-pelting mob during a cordon and search operation in a south Kashmir village on Saturday. The slain civilians were identified as Andleeb, 16, Shakir Ahmad, 22 and Irshad Ahmad, 20.

According to the reports, around a dozen prayers were held at a school ground in Hawoora village. An eyewitness said that while hundreds offered prayers, some armed terrorists too made an appearance and gave a gun-salute to the deceased.

Meanwhile, mobile Internet services were snapped in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir late on Saturday ahead of second death anniversary of militant commander Burhan Wani. Internet services were snapped in four south Kashmir districts, as well as Srinagar and Bandipura while 3G and 4G services in north Kashmir’s Baramulla were suspended.